The Wood-Mizer WB2000 Industrial Sawmill at a Modern Sawmilling Factory in Poland
By Marcin Kozłowski, PR Specialist
Watch the detailed video overview of the Wood-Mizer industrial sawmilling line operating at Poland's A&M Trak Michał Nowakowski company. The video is hosted by Wood-Mizer Industrial Sales Manager Adam Kubiak in cooperation with the employees of the Nowakowski company.
Since its introduction in 2015, sawmilling companies throughout the world have installed the Wood-Mizer WB2000 industrial sawmills, raising sawmilling productivity by two or threefold. The Wood-Mizer WB2000 industrial sawmill is a machine that combines the benefits of narrow and wide bandsaw blade technology. The sawmilling businesses appreciate its precisely cutting sawhead, massive bed with efficient hydraulics, and ease of operation. The WB2000 sawmill can perform as an individual sawmilling machine or as a part of a sawmilling line in the configuration that best fits the needs of a sawmilling operation.
Sawhead and the Sawmill Blades in the WB2000
The WB2000 sawmill was designed to work with 50 mm, 75 mm, or 100 mm wide sawmill blades installed on the 800 mm diameter cast-iron wheels. Using 50 mm or 75 mm wide blades allows resharpening and setting blades with Wood-Mizer blade maintenance equipment, including the BMS600 bandsaw blade sharpener and the BMT300 setter. “The 100-mm blades require a more advanced resharpening process, and the operator needs to be more experienced. The majority of the WB2000 sawmills ordered by our customers are preconfigured for the 75-mm wide blades,” shares Adam Kubiak, Wood-Mizer Industrial Sales Manager.
Each blade wheel includes felt and a scraper for cleaning and lubricating the wheel’s surface, while at the back of the cover, there is a dosage box installed. Small inspection windows allow for visibility of wheel lubrication. The recommended dosage is 2-3 oil drops per 5 seconds of wheelwork.
The WB2000 sawmill utilizes the LubeMizer blade cleaning and cooling system. It is a highly efficient mechanism that supplies compressed detergent through the nozzles placed under and over the working sawmill blade. It can spray the liquid in a constant or pulse mode which is especially useful when sawing hardwoods. The sawhead can be optionally equipped with a debarker which can considerably extend the blade life. The carbide material welded onto the circular blade teeth is 5 mm wide and makes a tiny cut in the log, removing bark and dirt and allowing the sawmill blade to enter into clean material. Optionally, the WB2000 can also be fitted with a laser sight that indicates the line of the upcoming cut on the log surface.
The blade tension system consisting of a manual oil pump and an oil box keeps the correct blade tension during sawing. The oil accumulator is responsible for adjusting the blade tension whenever the blade enters a more complex structure in the log, such as a knot. If this happens, the blade gets more load and, for a short moment, can get loose. The oil accumulator helps adjust the blade tension continuously so that the cutting process would advance in a stable and precise way, regardless of the wood structure. The WB2000 sawmill can also be optionally equipped with an electric oil pump from the operator panel.
The recommended tension parameters are on a sticker next to the pump. „A sawmill operator has to adjust the blade tensions properly, as it affects the blade lifetime. If the blade does not cut straight, it is recommended to adjust the blade wheel or replace it with a new one. It is not a good practice to over-tension the blade,” notices Adam Kubiak.
Main Motor and the Sawhead Feed System
On the left side of the sawhead is the main electric motor, 30 kW or 37,5 kW (available as an option). The main motor can be fitted with an altivar controlling the linear speed of the blade (18-32 m/s), which helps when sawing softwood and hardwood.
The WB2000, without an altivar controlling the linear speed of the blade, can work at two feed rates – either 22 m/s for softwood or 26 m/s for hardwood. Changing from one speed to another is done mechanically and requires replacing a set of rollers and belts. It is essential to inform Wood-Mizer about the blade linear speed adjustment (manual or electric) before ordering, as there is no possibility of upgrading the sawmill later.
The sawhead is fed vertically by a highly efficient helical gearbox known for its increased efficiency (97-98%), which allows for using a 2,2 kW electric motor with lower energy input. „The controlling software used in the sawhead feed mechanism is similar to that used in modern elevators. When we need to set the sawhead at a certain height, it is moved and halted by the altivar and the PLC driver, but once the sawhead is at the required height, the brake is engaged. The brake is responsible only for holding the head at a required height and not for stopping the head from moving. This solution limits heat emission and helps the entire mechanism last for a long time,” ensures Adam Kubiak.
The drives for feeding the sawhead horizontally are placed on both sides of the sawmill frame and are coupled with solid and durable chains. With this mechanism, the heavy and wide sawhead can be moved precisely and effortlessly along the rails while sawmilling. The maximum cutting speed is 60m/min, while in reverse movement - the speed can reach up to 100 m/min. The sawhead movement is controlled by a PLC driver, which constantly analyzes its position, and when the sawhead is nearing the rear bumpers, it slows down.
The WB2000 sawmill is fitted with two video cameras for monitoring the cutting process, which are placed on the sawhead next to the main motor. The first camera oversees the blade in action, and the other one watches the reverse movement of the sawhead. The image is transmitted to the screen located in the operator’s booth. The video recorder includes a total of 4 surveillance cameras (two additional cameras are optional).
Sawmill Bed and Hydraulic Log Handling
The sawmill frame is robust and durable, based on two C-shaped steel rails (400 mm wide) running along the bed. The modular structure allows for a flexible configuration depending on sawing requirements. The hydraulic functions and the sawmill bed equipment are similar to other Wood-Mizer sawmills – a central clamp on two rods, side supports, two chain turners, and three drive rollers can be controlled separately.
There is a 7,5 kW pump (flow rate of 27 l/min) for powering the hydraulics; however, it can be optionally replaced with an 11 kW pump (flow rate of 50 l/min). “Most WB2000 sawmills are ordered with the standard hydraulic pump, as faster hydraulics require advanced operation skills. The operator must carefully react to the quickly-working functions of the bed,” notices Adam Kubiak. For those sawmillers who need to cut longer logs, it is recommended to expand the sawmill with hold-down clamps, which hold the log steadily to the sawmill bed.
The WB2000 industrial sawmill at the Nowakowski company has been fitted with an adjustable belt conveyor allowing for material transportation onto the receiving module (here is the sorting table). In front of the conveyor is an absorption roller to relieve the impact of a falling board. Optionally, the WB2000 sawmill can be equipped with a separate tracking conveyor. “The tracking conveyor follows the sawhead, whose angle is contrary to that of a standard conveyor – the conveyor’s tip is raised and follows the blade. This device is handy for cutting logs with large diameters. Those heavy and hard boards can tend to break when they fall onto the conveyor (e.g., oak),” explains Adam Kubiak.
One of the most valuable components of the WB2000 sawmilling line is a log deck for quick and safe log loading onto the bed. The Wood-Mizer log decks are available in 3,6 m and 6 m long versions, with 2 or 3 transporting chains. “Sometimes companies order a special configuration of two log decks, in which one is placed behind the other one. The shorter deck is installed inside the production hall, and the longer one is outside. The outside deck is used for storing enough logs for one work shift, and the shorter one is for holding 2-3 logs ready for immediate loading onto the sawmill bed. This is a smart way to limit opening and closing of the production hall during the winter and save some heat,” explains Adam Kubiak. The log deck is also offered in the newest Heavy-Duty version with increased durability.
Behind the sawmill is a modular sorting table for automated receiving of the material and directing it to further processing. Single modules (each 3 m long) can be joined in clusters of a maximum length of 9 m (3 modules in total). The clusters can be multiplied to build sorting pockets. „In the Nowakowski company, the sorting table is electrical, with cross chains and pushers. The table can be optionally equipped with chains activated pneumatically or hydraulically. This is a recommended solution for the lines in which the material is received from two or more sawmills working side by side,” explains Adam Kubiak.
A sawmilling line could also be extended with more machines and equipment, e.g., on the left and right side, there might be installed slides or collecting pockets, board edgers, or multirips. Additionally, a conveyor for collecting the material might be installed, transporting the cants to the multirip and the woodchips to the chipper.
Convenient Operation of the WB2000 Sawmill
The WB2000 operator station is built on an elevation, allowing easy visual control of cutting (optionally, it might be an air-conditioned booth). At the A&M Trak Nowakowski company, the operator’s workplace is conveniently located in a custom-made booth.
Two joysticks and a 12-inch touchscreen are designed to control the sawmill easily. The screen displays cutting parameters and the settings buttons, while the joysticks control the machine functions. Another screen is installed beside the touchscreen to display the surveillance camera image. In the current sawmill configuration, the operator can view the blade position in the log, the bed behind the sawhead, the sorting table, and the sawhead mast.
The operator touchscreen works in the HEAD function (control of the sawhead) and BED function (control of the hydraulics). After switching the screen to the sawhead operation function, the display shows information such as the sawhead height, cutting position, feed speed, or the current load of the motor. The operator can use the sawhead in a few working modes - REF, STACK, and CRUISE.
In the REF mode, the reference point is the starting position of the sawhead – it’s helpful, if necessary, to make the first cut on the log, then turn it over and make another cut, and so on. The STACK mode is used when the point of reference is the sawmill bed – it’s helpful when the operator decides to mill the entire log down to the last board after making the first cut and setting the desired board thickness. In the STACK mode, the operator can use a ready program, e.g., the program for making 9x30 mm thick boards and 1x165 mm thick cant. It is possible to preprogram more individual cutting patterns and change their parameters during sawmilling. The operator can also use the automatic cutting programs to set the beginning and the end of the log and let the program carry on with cutting (under the operator’s visual control). There is also an automatic feed mode CRUISE, where the operator sets the feed speed and the power transmitted to the blade. The sawhead will continue to cut the material with these parameters, regardless of the log structure.
The operation of the bed hydraulics is possible after turning the screen to the BED function to control turners, central clamp, rollers, and side supports. With the so-called proportional valve, the operator can adjust the hydraulic speed. By setting the flow rate in the hydraulics for a particular function, the operator can limit its speed, which is useful, for example, when he needs to cut the last board on the bed carefully.
Wood-Mizer sawmilling lines are a modern and comprehensive technological solution for enterprises wanting to increase efficiency and automate production processes. All the lines can be flexibly configured to meet customer needs, while the world-class technical service and support ensure trouble-free usage and maintenance.
All middle-sized and large wood-processing companies are welcome to join the cooperation with Wood-Mizer sawmilling lines. The dedicated Wood-Mizer engineering team is ready to share the best of its knowledge and experience, helping your business to expand and prosper.
Contact - Adam Kubiak, Industrial Sales Manager, email: email@example.com